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Iridology: Fad or future?

By Danielle van Wyk

If you consider yourself a squeamish person, the idea of someone getting up close and personal with the iris of your eye can be off-putting. But what if this practice can in fact save your life?

The growing trend of iridology has people making better-informed health choices, and here’s how. 

What is iridology?

Simply put, iridology is a non-invasive diagnostic technique where the pigmentation, texture, patterns and rings of the iris are closely examined. This provides an indication of the overall constitution of the patient.

“The ability to view not only the quality of the connective tissue of the iris, but also the functioning of the nervous system, makes iridology an extremely powerful tool,” adds iridologist and naturopath, dr Suzanne Haylett.

So, what is the significance of the iris?

According to Haylett the nervous system connects the iris directly to the brain.

“The iris displays just like a television screen, showing every single stimulus from the body that the brain receives. The different areas of the iris are linked to different organs of the body through the nervous system.

“This means that the markings in any part of the iris can give information about the past and present health of the linked organ. Any change in the body’s function, or any disturbance in homeostasis (the tendency of organisms to auto-regulate and maintain their internal environment in a stable state).can also be seen and interpreted. The tissue changes that take place in the body makes iridology especially valuable in the treatment of chronic disease,” Haylett continues. 

If you’re wondering what a consult looks like, Haylett explains.

After taking a full case history, a practitioner will use a special digital camera with a macro lens to take photos of both irises. These photos are then displayed on a computer screen. Iridologists use a special iris chart that works like a map to show them exactly where in the iris the different body systems and organs can be seen.

Typically, landmark signs and the density of nerve fibres in relation to the over-all constitution are studied.

“Every landmark sign has its own unique history. The trained practitioner reads and considers the many possible inherent, reflex, chemical, nerve and mental interactions of each system. A trained practitioner uses iridology to gain an insight into the whole picture before determining the cause behind the problem,” Haylett explains.

Certain structural patterns always appear in groups. These groups are referred to as constitutions. Constitutions reveal each person’s genetic strengths, weaknesses and susceptibilities. In other words, it shows your individual makeup. What you haveinherited, how well you take care of your body and what diseases you are more prone to.

But iridology cannot determine disease. Instead it helps the practitioner to detect signs of biochemical and physical needs and changes in the body, long before the appearance of symptoms. This then enables the practitioner to prevent disease before it can manifest.

How much does it cost?

An iridology consultation can vary from an hour to an hour and a half, say Haylett.

This, as well as the variances in area and practitioner make it difficult to give a specific costing. But in Cape Town you can expect to pay between R350 and R450 for an hour-long iridology consultation.

Further, if the practitioner is registered by the Medical or Allied Health council, the patients will be able to claim from their medical aid.

The practice of Iridology dates back to the 1800’s and has developed significantly into the sophisticated practice that we experience today.

While many may scoff at the technique, it allows you the chance to gain insight into the inner workings of your body.

You may be thinking you’re safe: you work out, you eat relatively healthy, you drink enough water. However, there’s no concrete way of measuring whether you are on the right track for your body, unless you’re having regular health checks.

Iridology may sound strange, but so did the idea of abandoning carbs and embracing cauli-based pizzas at one stage. Who knows - it could just save you!

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